This is such a simple and "cheap" dish, I wonder why I often pay at minimum $8.00 to eat this outside. This dish takes less than 5 minutes to be prepared and served and at most would cost about $1.00 if you cook it at home.
Bean Sprouts (available at any Asian supermarkets) cost about 0.59cents per lb. These buggers are so light, if you buy one pound it would feed 4 persons nicely. The other ingredient is salted fish also readily available in any Asian supermarket. Depending on the fish you buy, it will cost between 3.99 to 5.99 per pound. Remember this is salted fish so it is extremely salty and pungent, you don't need a lot to bring out the taste. 100gm of the salted fish cut to small pieces in more than enough. Next - 2 cloves of garlic, few drop of vegetable oil, few drop of fish sauce and salt and that's it. I should cook this at home vs ordering this dish everytime we go out.
I guess the main reason why I don't cook this dish at home that much is because bean sprouts don't keep long even in the fridge. Best to use immediately after buying or keep just for a day in the fridge. If kept longer, you will find that the bean sprouts is soft vs the ideal light crunch texture. I do my grocery shopping mainly during the weekends for the next week and I usually eat out during the weekends and thus I don't buy bean sprouts especially when I don't know if I will cook it in the next one or two days.
But when I weight how cheap and how easy it is to cook this dish (vs how much I pay for someone else to cook it for me)...hmmm either I should plan my grocery shopping a bit better or just not order this dish when I eat out. :)
Simple Ingredients :
1. 1lb of bean sprouts (wash and drain)
2. 100gm of salted fish (cut to small pieces)
3. 2 cloves of garlic (chopped fine)
4. 2 TBSP of oil
5. 1 TBSP of fish sauce
6. 1/4 tsp of salt
7. Chopped scallions for garnishing
Simple Steps :
1. Put the oil in on the saute pan, put in the chopped garlic and salted fish. Saute for 2 minutes till fragrant.
2. Next turn up the heat, put in all the bean sprouts and do a quick toss. Add fish sauce and salt and 2 TBSP of water. Stir fry for another 2 minutes and it is ready to served.
That's it!! Quick and simple. The key is the fire in the Chinese stir frying. The fire need to be at high and the stir fry motion need to be quick to get all the ingredient blended in well together. For even better results, is obviously to use a wok as it is able to retain heat a lot better and the shape makes stir frying a lot easier. But nevertheless you can do this on a pan (I did). Just be a bit careful when stir frying to make sure all your ingredients are not flying out of the cooking pan :)
Hope you like this recipe. Try this simple at home and save the money for dessert :)